of Carroll County, Mississippi

Formation and History of Carroll County, Mississippi

Blue = 1828 boundaries, including Indian lands prior to the 1833 Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek
Black = 1833 boundaries, including formation of new counties


Carroll County was established by legislative act in 1833, and was the twenty-seventh county to organize. When organized, Hiram Runnels was Governor of Mississippi and Andrew Jackson was President of the United States. Carroll County was carved out of a part of the territory ceded by the Choctaw Indians to the United States by the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830. As originally established, it embraced territory more than twice its present size. It extended on the north three miles farther than now, end reached some five miles east of the present city of Winona (now in Montgomery County). On the west it was bounded by the Tallahatchie and Yazoo rivers. The southern boundary was as at present, but then extended from the Yazoo to Big Black River. It was named for Charles G. Carroll, of Maryland, one of the immortal signers of the Declaration of Independence, who said, after giving his signature, "If this be treason, I want it known which Carroll it is. I am Charles G. Carroll, of Carrollton, Maryland."

While some white settlers were already in the territory, there was a great influx of people from a number of states on the East as soon as the county was created. These came from leading families of Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, and other states.

Early History

Carrollton was selected in 1834 as the location for the seat of county government and soon grew into a thriving town. Middleton, Shongalo, and Black Hawk rapidly became towns of prestige and influence, Shongalo later became Vaiden and the county seat of the Second District.

On March 11, 1834, the commissioners who had been designated to organize the county held their first meeting. This Board of Police was composed of Edmunds G. Whitehead, Daniel McEachern, Thomas Matthew, Woodward Applewhite and John Rogers. Of these, Whitehead was chosen president. The clerk of the probate court, Thomas Rhodes, was by law, clerk of the Board of Police, and Abraham G. Herring was sheriff. The other officers of the county were William G. Herring, circuit clerk and William Blanks, probate judge.

This meeting of the Board of Police was held in the home of George W. Green, which, as the minutes show, was near the center of the county and not far from the present town of Carrollton.

The first duty of the Board of Police was to approve the bonds of the county officers, and then followed the division of the county into beats, which was, in effect about the same as now.

Elections were ordered to be held in the different beats for justices of the peace and constables, and at the same time and places an election was ordered to be held for a county treasurer. This election was held at the houses of different citizens, there not being any public places for meeting. In Beat 1, at the house of James Parker; in Beat 2, at the house of Thomas G. Nixon; in Beat 3, at the home of Duncan C. McLoed; in Beat 4, at the house of George W. Green; and in Beat 5, at the house of John McCaskell.

At a special term of the Board of Police in April, Edward G. Howard qualified as county surveyor, Daniel S. McDougal as coroner, Jacob Miller as ranger, and John Oldham as tax assessor and collector.

In November, 1834, the FIRST TERM OF THE CIRCUIT COURT of Carroll County was held in the house of William N. Miller in Carrollton, and was presided over by James Scott, judge of the Second Judicial District. The district attorney, Thomas J. Coffin, was absent, and Robert Hughes, an attorney-at-law of Carrollton, was appointed by the court for the term. All lawyers had to be registered and sworn as attorneys and counselors at law, and the following were enrolled and sworn: Robert Hughes, Joseph Drake, J. M. Maury, John Taylor, A. H. Baxton, W. G. Kendall, James Enloe, and David 0. Shattuck. The first grand jury was composed of the following men: Andrew B. Oldham, Leroy R. Brewer, James Standley, James Cobb, William Kirkwood, William Alford, Samuel Bell, William M. Thompson, William Baxter, Edmond O'Neal, and Henry Moffit. Samuel Bell was appointed foreman. Their first important case was a murder involving a Negro slave named Anderson, for which he was convicted and hanged.

The second term of Circuit Court was held in May, 1835, and was presided over by Judge Robert Hughes as judge. The following new lawyers were present and were sworn in: A. R. Herron, Edward H. Durell, H. S. Eustis, Jeremiah Cooper, Robert J. Green, and Andrew Neill. The district attorney was again absent, so Joseph Drake served in that capacity.

At the April, 1836 term of the Circuit Court, David 0. Shattuck served as district attorney and James Wellons took the oath as attorney at law. This was the first term at which James Collins served as circuit clerk.

In October, 1837, G. F. Neill, William Cothran, William Clark, and Vincent D. Butler came into court and were sworn as attorneys at law.

In 1834, the first deed for land was from John Neville to Collins and Hooker. The first marriage license on record in the chancery clerk's office was issued to Robert Kelly and Delia Oldham on May 25, 1834, who were married by William Blanks, probate judge.

In the 1870s, considerable of this vast territory was taken from Carroll to compose parts of the counties of Grenada, Leflore, and Montgomery, while that portion of the present county east of Big Black River was given to Carroll from Choctaw County. This still left a county of 624 square miles.

Two of her former citizens were leading United States Senators: James Z. George, and Hernando DeSoto Money.


History of Carroll County; W. F. Hamilton and Bingham Duncan

A History of Carroll County; Charles A. Neal

Carroll County


I am John Hansen, volunteer County Coordinator for Carroll County, Mississippi.  I have family lines from here and hence my interest in establishing as much information as possible on early Carroll County History.

Web Site:

The Carroll County, Mississippi Genealogical and Historical Web Site was brought online in 1998, and is sponsored by the MSGenWeb Project, a part of the  USGenWeb Project.

This website has been developed to provide research and family history resources for Carroll County, Mississippi ancestry.

New resources are added as made available, so check back often for new content.





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